Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Remedy for colic?

Posted by Richard, C.Ped on 1/05/04 at 09:36 (141394)

Does anyone know of a good home type remedy for colic? My son is having a time with it. We use the simethecone 20mg drops which only works so-so. I spoke with a pharmacist friend of mine who suggested this one product that had sodium bicarb, ginsing, and something else...but it was around $25.00 (for baking soda and ginsing! haha).


Re: Remedy for colic?

Pam S. on 1/05/04 at 09:49 (141395)

Dear Richard:
Congrats on you new baby. This will sound so silly but my younger daughter had colic really badly. I consulted with a specialist once (but this was 15 years ago!!!!!!) and she told me to walk around with the baby's back against my chest and hold the baby's legs up against your back also. This allows trapped gas to escape. Or you could just sit like that with the baby. It is worth a try. It is so frustrating when they cry like that I know. Good luck!!! These days are so long aren't they? But boy do they pass quickly in hindsight. If this is not clear let me know. Pam

Re: Remedy for colic?

Richard, C.Ped on 1/05/04 at 11:15 (141406)

Thanx for the info Pam. We actually do that along with holding him like a football. It does work pretty good. I hate hearing him scream in pain like that and not be able to do anything right away for him.

Re: Remedy for colic?

marie on 1/05/04 at 11:21 (141408)

My youngest had colic & every waking moment of his day he was screaming. I thought I'd given birth to the most unhappy baby on earth. He'll grow out of it in about a month. In the meantime try giving him a little ride in the car. It's so hard to deal with the screaming but remember it does get better.


Re: Remedy for colic?

Carole C in NOLA on 1/05/04 at 11:57 (141410)

My daughter had colic too. It makes a parent feel so helpless to see their baby in pain, and not be able to help! My sympathies.

In my daughter's case, I didn't know what to do and we couldn't afford extra visits to the pediatrician to ask about it (at the time we were poorer than churchmice, poorer than dirt poor! but happy). She was my only and first baby, and I tried everything I could think of, read about, or hear about. Nothing seemed to help though sometimes she would drift off when I put her in her baby swing. She never slept more than a half hour until she was at least six months. Yes, this was the baby from h*ll (or maybe I was the mother from h*ll).

Anyway, her colic seemed to go away immediately when she was 10 months old and we started making the transition from breast feeding to soy formula. She really liked soy formula and it seemed to rid her of colic.

There are reasons why I only had one kid! LOL I think another year of colic would have killed me. I am a much better scientist than mother, I think. :)

Carole C

Re: Remedy for colic?

Richard, C.Ped on 1/05/04 at 14:25 (141419)

I went on and got what the pharmacist recommended. It is called 'Gripe Water'. It was $12 instead of $25. The other ingredient was fennel seed oil.
It smells like licorice (sp??) and tasted pretty good
I guess we will see.

Re: Remedy for colic?

Pauline on 1/05/04 at 14:57 (141420)

My oldest also had colic. Changing to a soy formula helped in his case along with laying him over my lap face down and rubbing his back gently toward his head followed by a couple of pats. Then bringing him upright to see if he needed to burp. Don't let the baby's head dangle downward when it is laying over your knee support it but don't block the air passages.

This was taught to me by the Italian mother of 6 children who lived down the street at the time. Like you I tried everything and anything as long as it wouldn't hurt the child.

In the really old days, paragoric was used, but I would hope they have come a long way to solving this thing since then. I'm sure you've checked with your doctor already. If your wife is breast feeding something she is eating could possibly not be agreeing with baby. Maybe a trial food elimination process could be tried beginning with food items that cause gas or even a change in the milk that she is consuming. Just ideas.

Found this information on a web site which may be helpful. The was a doctor on TV talking about swaddling and loud humming in the childs ear. This article seems to mention similar things.
Good luck it's not a picnic for parents, I've been there.

Treatment for colic
There is no single medicine or proven cure for colic, but there are several measures that may help. Different babies are comforted by different measures, and parents usually need to try various methods to see what works.

Parents who bottle-feed their babies may want to try a different formula. For parents who breastfeed, it's a good idea to continue this because weaning the baby from breast milk may make the colic worse.

Some women find that certain foods in their diet seem to make colic worse and they may find that cutting these foods out helps. These might include cruciferous vegetables (eg cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and parsnip), beans, onions, garlic, apricots, melon, spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. By reintroducing foods gradually, women may be able to identify which food, if any, is causing the problem.

If there is a family history of milk sugar (lactose) intolerance, breastfeeding mothers could try eliminating cows milk from their diet. Sometimes babies are not able to digest lactose well - this improves as they get older.

Some parents who bottle-feed their baby try changing over to soya-based formula, but there is no evidence that this is effective at reducing colic.

If the baby seems to have a lot of wind, make sure he or she is burped frequently. Babies who are bottle-fed may swallow air from the bottle: try feeding the baby in a different position, or using a bottle and teat designed to reduce the amount of air the baby swallows during a feed. These include curved bottles, bottles with a collapsible bag inside or bottles with a vent.

To soothe babies with colic, the following techniques may be helpful:

carry the baby in a front sling or back pack
wrap him or her snugly in a blanket (this is called swaddling)
keep the baby moving in a baby swing
place him or her near continuous noise or vibrations from household appliances like the dishwasher, vacuum cleaner or washer-dryer
take him or her for a car ride or a walk outside
give him or her a dummy to suck on
give him or her tummy or back rubs
take a shower together - the warm water may be comforting

Re: Remedy for colic?

Suzanne D. on 1/05/04 at 15:42 (141425)

My oldest had colic, too. I remember the helpless feeling when I tried everything to no avail. I remember an older lady who came to visit saying, 'There is the 3 month colic, the 6 month, and the 9 month.'

I remember replying to her, 'Oh, I don't think I'll last 9 months!' :) When she was 6 months old, it seemed to immediately resolve itself, although we were not doing anything different at the time.

We changed formulas, I wore one of those pouches and carried her on my chest, we used a swing with music, pink liquid drops (Don't remember what they were, but they were prescribed by the pediatrician) 30 minutes before she was fed, car rides, etc. We had a pond near the house, and my husband would go out and fish when he couldn't take the crying any longer. :) He fished more during that time than he ever has before or since! She never slept like some babies (certainly not like my other daughter - Actually when she came along 5 years later, I was frantic thinking something was wrong with her because she slept so MUCH! I finally settled down and realized that she was more 'normal'; I was just comparing her to my only other experience.)

I hope what you bought helps, Richard. Sometimes just time and patience, along with trying and seeing what works, is the key, I believe.

Best wishes! 'This too shall pass...'

Suzanne :)

Re: Remedy for colic?

John H on 1/05/04 at 15:50 (141428)

Smelled like licorice and tasted good? You have been smoking some bad weed
Richard. You need immediate help.

Re: Remedy for colic?

BrianG on 1/05/04 at 18:23 (141443)

Colic sounds like the same thing that happens to bass when we bring them up from the deep, too fast. Gas gets trapped in the stomach, and they cannot swim back down until the pressure is removed. We take a long needle, insert it just under the bass's lateral line / baby's rib cage, and slowly let the air escape. Now that you mention it, I might not be that good a parent!! :*)


Re: Remedy for colic?

Pauline on 1/05/04 at 18:59 (141444)

Sounds like you got colic under control, just not in humans:*

Re: Remedy for colic?

JudyS on 1/05/04 at 19:36 (141451)

Right-O John h - the words 'good' and 'licorice' just don't go together :)

Re: Remedy for colic?

Dorothy on 1/06/04 at 02:58 (141468)

Richard ~ It is so hard to see them hurting and feel so helpless. As you can see, lots of folks know what you're going through. Our oldest daughter had it and every day around 4 pm would just cry and kick and wiggle. We learned that the kicking was her effort to rid herself of what was hurting her. Mine were breastfed and thrived and I have read that those with colic - difficult as it is - actually do seem to thrive especially well, if that is any comfort. We used to put her belly down across our knees, head down and legs down, and then rock our knees back and forth. This gave her a little belly-jiggling and also the supposedly soothing rhythmic movements back and forth. I am reading now from The Natural Pharmacy about colic: 'Chamomile has a long history of use as a calming herb and can be used to ease intestinal cramping in colicky infants. A soothing tea made from chamomile, vervain, licorice, fennel, and lemon balm has been shown to relieve colic more effectively than placebo. In this study, approximately 1/2 cup of tea was given during each colic episode for a maximum of 3 times per day.' (The Natural Pharmacy p. 40) I will also quote from Healthy Child, Whole Child by Stuart H. Ditchek, M.D. and Russell H. Greenfield, M.D. pp. 300-302:
'What Parents Can Do for Colic - Since there is no disease process to arrest with colic, we target our treatment to the symptoms. There are over the counter medications containing simethicone for colic, but we have not found them to be effective. Below are nine strategies that we- and our patients' parents - have found to be helpful. Because every child is unique, we cannot predict what strategies will work for your child. One of our children was soothed by dancing to Paul Simon's 'Kodachrome', one by the sound of the dryer, and another found comfort only in the video of 'Top Gun'. Be reassured that every baby has an 'off' swietch; you just have to find what activates your child's. We suggest experimenting with various levels of stimulation. Some babies are soothed by the stimulation of sound, motion, or touch. Others need calm, quiet surroundings, and a lack of stimulation. Only experimentation can determine which your own child prefers.
1. Massage your infant - Gentle massage is a simple and effective way to reduce the pain and tension of both colicky baby and parents....(Dorothy's note: I am giving slightly shortened version..if you want the entire version, let me know.)
2. Try an herbal remedy - Chamomile tea is a wonderful thing to give an irritable child. A bottle containing up to four ounces a day of the warm (not hot) herbal tea can soothe an irritable baby for several hours. Fennel tea can be substituted for chamomile.
3. Relax the parent - A vicious cycle can be created between an irritable baby and an overstressed parent. That's why it's especially important for you to find time for whatever form of stress reduction works best for you....(shortened version)
4. Try some lavender aromatherapy - In addition to lavender-scented massages, you can use a little sedative lavender oil in a diffuser in a baby's room.
5. Keep that baby moving - Rock or roll your baby in a rhythimic and relaxed manner. Put him in a front - or backpack and go for a walk. Drive aimlessly around in the car.
6. Try white noise - Turn on the washer/dryer or the vacuum cleaner. Put on a tape of a mother's heartbeat, ocean waves, or lullabies.
7. Assume the position - Some positions are better than others at soothing a colicky child. One of the classics is the 'flying baby' or 'sack of potatoes' pose, with infant draped, stomach down, along a parent's forearm.
8. Swaddle the baby - Some babies like to have their bodies wrapped snugly (face free) in a sheet or blanket.
9. Experiment with an alternative - Some parents swear by cranial osteopathy for colic, others say homeopathic remedies have done the trick.'

The doctors go on to write in this section about other possiblities when symptoms seem to be colic but might not be. I will just refer you to this book if you want to read further about it.

This is me, just Dorothy, now: I have thought about these two things for colic - there are some very effective yoga moves for gas and abdominal discomfort from it. I wonder if you might put your baby very gently through some of them. I think you could look into a yoga book or online for some good illustrations. One involves lying on one's back with one leg out straight, the other leg with bent knee drawn up to the belly; then reverse/alternate. There are others that are simple and could be done by you 'on' your son, I would think. The other thing I have wondered is whether you might use some warmth - a warm cloth or a heating pad on the very lowest setting or something like that. If you've ever had a bellyache yourself from gas, you know how soothing and relaxing (and, therefore, helpful) heat on the belly can be.

Ok, that's it for now. I feel for ya! Suzanne said it exactly right and so do the doctors in the books: this too shall pass. Hang in there. When he's a man, you can tell him all that you did for him!

Re: Remedy for colic?

Richard, C.Ped on 1/06/04 at 08:44 (141470)

Geeze flyboy....did I tick you off in some way??

Re: Remedy for colic?

Richard, C.Ped on 1/06/04 at 12:37 (141482)

Oh I can't stand licorace...it only smelled like it. It did not taste like licorace at all. That is why it was good.

Re: Remedy for colic?

Richard, C.Ped on 1/06/04 at 12:37 (141483)

Or we can just put him in a hyperbaric chamber to relieve the pain. haha

Re: Remedy for colic?

Pauline on 1/06/04 at 14:16 (141488)

We didn't see the Crocodile Hunter's baby with any colic, maybe prancing in front of something that will eat you cures it.

Re: Remedy for colic?

Lorinda N on 1/06/04 at 23:35 (141535)

Peppermint...... try swirling a peppermint candy cane in some warm water and giving him some... It worked for us with our first. (And believe me I was like....WHAT?.... but at some point you will try anything that wont hurt your child) My mother said her mother told her to do this. Best wishes for a peaceful day... or night..

Re: Remedy for colic?

Dorothy on 1/07/04 at 00:53 (141541)

That makes a lot of sense because one of the 'natural' remedies is peppermint tea, but there are a lot of cautions that go with drinking peppermint tea, especially for a child. That sounds like a good- and delicious - idea for ANYONE who wants some peppermint not so concentrated as it would be in tea form from the mint plant itself.

Re: Remedy for colic?

Richard, C.Ped on 1/07/04 at 08:59 (141551)

I think I will give the peppermint a try. great idea!

Re: Remedy for colic?

Kathy G on 1/07/04 at 09:09 (141554)

No ideas from me, unfortunately, Richard. It seems like time is the best remedy but it is such a tough period, especially with another little one to care for. My oldest had some colic and what worked for me was to put on a stack of albums and rock him. For some reason, as long as there was music on and he was in my arms, he was happy. And it wasn't soothing music, either, it was the rock that I always listen to!

As for my daughter, what worked best for her was lying on my stomach. We didn't have those nifty cuddle sacks or whatever they're called that they have today. Her very favorite place was in my father's arms and I believe it was because he had huge, warm hands and was the calmest, gentlest person I ever met. I swear she could just sense the calmness and she'd go to sleep.

When she was little, my pediatrician had a son exactly the same age. When I asked him for a remedy, he said if he knew one, he'd use it. The day before had been his day off and he'd spent the day putting his son on top of the washing machine, in a baby seat, of course, and running the spin cycle. It was the only thing that would stop his crying! He also spent one night driving around the block until three in the morning because his son wouldn't stop crying unless he was in the car, moving. And he was a pediatrician!!

I hope these kids appreciate what we go through for them!

Good luck to you and your wife!

Re: Remedy for colic?

Richard, C.Ped on 1/07/04 at 12:43 (141573)

I guess with the Croc hunter...prancing the baby in front of an alligator will scare the s$%t out of him...that would help. HA HA!!!!!!

Re: Remedy for colic?

Pauline on 1/07/04 at 12:47 (141575)

Tooo much, but your right no gas left.

Re: Remedy for colic?

R C on 1/11/04 at 19:41 (141838)


I can vouch for the white noise approach (vacuum cleaner or dryer work best in my house).

Also, as a father of two I can back the comments made in previous posts about diet (both the baby's and the maother's). My wife had to avoid the following foods : anything with a lot of MSG, chocolate (!), coffee, and soy protein. These things would pass via breastmilk, and we'd end up with a screaming baby.

Good luck--